Cyber Attack Hits Iran Oil Industry

April 23, 2012 Updated: April 30, 2012

Iran has been forced to take a key oil terminal offline following what is suspected to be a major cyber-attack.

A computer virus attacked the systems of the country’s oil ministry and national oil company on Sunday night.

In order to minimize any fallout from the attack, officials have disconnected from the Internet the country’s oil production site on Kharg Island, although oil production remains unaffected, the semi-official news agency Mehr reported on Monday.

The facility manages about 80 percent of the country’s oil exports. A cyber-attack committee, established by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, is reported to be investigating the attack.

The country’s energy sector has been the priority target of cyber-attacks over the past two years, according to the head of Iran’s civil defense agency, Gholam Reza Jalali, in comments earlier this year.

In 2010, the country’s nuclear program was targeted by the Stuxnet virus. It was reported at the time that the virus had disabled several centrifuges.

Since then there have been other attacks, include the Stars virus in April 2011, and another spy virus dubbed Doku.